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Stunning Photographs win SINWP Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 in aid of RSPB

Alan Jones’ image entitled “Red billed Oxpecker “

Now in its fourth year, The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers are delighted to announce the winners of the SINWP Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 in aid of RSPB.

Well over 1,700 photographs were entered into this competition from around the globe. We have seen everything from kingfishers, bald eagles, puffins, peacocks, and everything in between, and the quality has been stunning.

The winning entry by Alan Jones from Midlothian, Scotland was of a Red-billed Oxpecker which is sat on a buffalo’s face entitled ‘’Red-Billed Oxpecker”.

The Photographic competition was organised in aid of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who benefitted to the tune of £2,302.72p from the minimum donation of £1 per entry.

Alan tells us ”The image was taken at Zimanga reserve in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region of South Africa, which is in the Eastern Cape. The reserve has some amazing hides which allows you to collect images at water hole level. This hide allows overnight sessions and is well equipped, even including wi-fi which allowed me to post images taken during the night on Facebook! This image was taken about 6am in late September so the light level was still pretty low. The bird is of course a Red-billed Oxpecker which is sitting on a buffalo’s face. Oxpeckers feed exclusively on the bodies of large mammals. It seems the jury is still out on whether they do the animal more harm than good. The buffalo appears to tolerate oxpeckers while other species will not.”

Technical details: Canon EOS 70D, Canon 100-400mm IS II USM at 100mm (the animals were pretty close!), manual exposure mode f5.6, 1/125, at 1600 ISO.

Judges’ Comments “The quality of the entry was extremely high, especially given the constraints that have impeded photography in the past year and a total of 198 images were selected from the 1,500+ to go forward for detailed discussion and selection of the awards. The selection was refined into bronze, Silver and Gold to reflect the time that any given image stayed in the race.

It is quite apparent that modern camera technology is starting to have a considerable influence on wildlife photography and leading exponents are now fully exploiting the speeds, low-noise, high ISO and fabulous focus capabilities available today. A number of the shots showed quite remarkable settings in their metadata with action captures including tiny details such as insects alongside fast moving birds that would have never been possible previously. Conversely some of the images showed superb camera craft and amazing stability at low shutter speeds – as judges we salute you all!

In among this feast of quality simple ‘portraits’ stood less chance of attracting the judge’s attention without additional interest such as rarity, species interactions or behaviours. Even so the judges retained an appreciation for composition and the artistry that was on display in many of the shots, and the final selections reflect this diversity of the images.

2nd place was awarded to Kevin Nash from Cheshire, England and 3rd place was awarded to Colin Bradshaw from Cambridgeshire, England.

2nd Place – Kevin Nash

3rd Place – Colin Bradshaw

View the winning images here
1st https://sinwp.com/Bird21/1st.htm  
2nd https://sinwp.com/Bird21/2nd.htm  
3rd https://sinwp.com/Bird21/3rd.htm

Gianpiero Ferrari, Jason Gericke, John Ellingsen all received Judges Choice Awards https://sinwp.com/Bird21/jc.htm

As the quality this year’s competition was superb, Gold, Silver and Bronze images were also awarded.

Gold https://sinwp.com/Bird21/gold.htm

Silver https://sinwp.com/Bird21/silver.htm

Bronze https://sinwp.com/Bird21/bronze.htm

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